Adrian Avena Leads Group B at MLF
Category: Bass Tournament
Aug 19th, 2021 by sworrall
Modified Aug 19th, 2021 at 8:54 AM
Adrian Avena Leads Group B at MLF Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Presented by Mercury on the Mississippi River
New Jersey Pro Catches 15-12 to Take Early Lead in Group B – Group A to Wrap Qualifying Round Thursday
LA CROSSE, Wis. (Aug. 18, 2021) – Berkley pro Adrian Avena of Vineland, New Jersey, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Wednesday weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces to grab the early lead in Group B after their Day 1 Qualifying Round at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury – the Pro Circuit Championship, Presented by Bad Boy Mowers. Avena caught the bulk of his fish early in the day, then culled in the afternoon. He’ll bring a 13-ounce advantage over second place angler Strike King pro Jared McMillan of Clewiston, Florida, who brought a five-bass limit to the stage weighing 14-15.
Rounding out the top three was pro Mitch Crane of Columbus, Mississippi, who caught five bass for 14-9 to end the day in third. Four more pros topped the 13-pound mark on Group B’s opening day, putting themselves well within striking distance of making the top-10 cut in their group and moving on to the Knockout Round.
The 25 anglers in Group B will now have a day off on Thursday, while the 25 anglers in Group A will complete their two-day Qualifying Round of competition. Group B will conclude their Qualifying Round on Friday. The six-day event, hosted by Explore La Crosse, showcases the top 48 pros in the 2021 Pro Circuit standings, along with last year’s reigning TITLE champion and reigning Angler of the Year – all competing for a purse of nearly $900,000 and a grand prize of up to $235,000.
“Today was a really fun day of fishing and I was able to catch some quality fish,” said Avena. “I got in an area that had some bass in it and just caught a lot of them.”
The New Jersey pro boated 25 to 30 fish over the course of the day – even more impressive following the morning fog delay, which delayed the start of the competition day by a little over an hour.
“I rolled into this area in practice and had three bites at the end of practice that were all better than average – I call anything over 2½ pounds ‘better than average’ on this system,” said Avena. “I started in that area today and there were still a lot of bass there. Now we wait and see whether I’ll be able to fish that same area come Friday.”
Although he’s a river savvy angler and has fished the Mighty Miss many times, Avena said he was far from comfortable out on the water on Wednesday.
“This river changes so much, between the current, the sand drops and the water level. I’ve never fished it when the system was this low, so it looks like a totally different river to me,” continued Avena. “I’ve always been that guy that likes to get off the map a little bit – and you can do that here – but you also don’t want to overlook the obvious.”
Avena said his goal going into Group B’s second day of fishing is to win the Qualifying Round and advance straight to the Championship Round on Sunday.
“I feel like the area I have can only get better with rest, so I think if I can go out there and catch a really good bag and possibly win the round and punch my ticket into the Championship Round, that’s what I want to do,” said Avena.
The standings for the 25 pros in Group B after Day 2 on the Mississippi River are:
1st: Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., five bass, 15-12
2nd: Jared McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 14-15
3rd. Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 14-9
4th: Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., five bass, 13-7
5th: Lawson Hibdon, Versailles, Mo., five bass, 13-3
6th: Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 13-0
6th: Matt Stefan, Junction City, Wis., five bass, 13-0
8th: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., five bass, 12-10
9th: Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 12-7
10th: Kyle Hall, Granbury, Texas, five bass, 12-1
11th: Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 11-14
12th: Cody Meyer, Star, Idaho, five bass, 11-10
13th: Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., five bass, 11-3
14th: Larry Nixon, Quitman, Ark., five bass, 10-7
15th: Terry Bolton, Benton, Ky., five bass, 10-6
16th: Dylan Hays, Hot Springs, Ark., four bass, 9-0
17th: Ryan Davidson, Branchland, W.Va., five bass, 8-4
18th: Brad Knight, Lancing, Tenn., three bass, 7-11
19th: Shin Fukae, Harlem, Ga., three bass, 6-5
20th: Jon Canada, Helena, Ala., four bass, 5-15
21st: Evan Barnes, Hot Springs, Ark., three bass, 5-10
22nd: Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., two bass, 4-0
23rd: Justin Cooper, Zwolle, La., two bass, 3-8
24th: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., one bass, 2-15
25th: Dakota Ebare, Brookeland, Texas, two bass, 2-12
A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Overall, there were 104 bass weighing 246 pounds, 8 ounces caught by the 25 pros on Tuesday, with 16 five-bass limits.
The MLF Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury – the Pro Circuit Championship, Presented by Bad Boy Mowers features a hybrid tournament format. All 50 anglers are seeded into two groups of 25 – Group A & Group B, based on points earned in 2021 qualifying events – where they will compete in Qualifying Rounds over the first four days of the tournament. Group A will fish again on Day 3, and Group B will fish again on Day 4, with total weight determined by the cumulative weight of their biggest five-bass limit from both days.
The winner of each group will then advance directly to the Championship Round on Sunday, while pros who finish in second to 10th place in each group will again battle it out with zeroed weights in the Knockout Round on Saturday. On the final day of the event, the Championship Round, weights will again be zeroed and the top eight pros from the Knockout Round, plus the two Qualifying Round winners will compete. The winner will be determined by the heaviest five-bass limit of the final round.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CT each day from Veterans Freedom Park, located at 1 Clinton Street in La Crosse. Weigh-ins will also be held at the park daily at 3 p.m. The MLF NOW! broadcast team of Chad McKee, Marty Stone and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Fans are welcome to attend the event or follow the action online through the MLF NOW! live stream and coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
Along with the launch and weigh-in, fans and community members are invited to a Fishing and Outdoor Expo Saturday and Sunday, August 21-22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT at Veterans Freedom Park, where fans can meet the pros and check out the latest in fishing and outdoor gear. The expo includes live music, great food, vendor booths from participating sponsors, activities for kids, giveaways and more.
The first 100 kids (10 and under) will receive a free rod and reel at the Expo on Saturday and Sunday and fans can register for a Jackson Kayak Coosa FD giveaway once per day, onsite every day throughout the tournament. The winner will be drawn after the final weigh-in on August 22. PAW Patrol’s Skye and Marshall will also be at the event with MLF pro Charlie Evans and will be available for photos. Appearance times may vary. Visit MajorLeagueFishing.com for updates and more details.
In addition to the launch, weigh-ins and Expo, youth 14 and under are also invited to attend a free Kid’s Fishing Derby on Sunday, Aug. 22, from noon to 2 p.m. at Copeland Park. Participants can bring their own fishing gear or use provided gear on a first come, first serve basis. Worms will be provided by DMF Bait Company. Participants can register online at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers featured a field of 163 of the top professional anglers in the world competing at six regular-season events around the country. The top 50 anglers in the Angler of the Year (AOY) standings after the six events qualified to compete in the Tackle Warehouse TITLE Presented by Mercury, the Pro Circuit Championship, Presented by Bad Boy Mowers.
Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE Presented by Mercury event will be showcased across six two-hour episodes, premiering at 7 a.m. ET, Oct. 10 on the Outdoor Channel. Episodes premiere Sunday mornings on the Outdoor Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long episode goes in-depth to break down each day of competition. Episodes will run through Nov. 14.
For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the MLF BIG5’s social media outlets at Facebook , Twitter, Instagram and YouTube .